Underage drinking den is smashed

PCSO Jenny Charlton from Wallsend Neighbourhood Team and North Tyneside Council Waggonway Warden Ritchie Barnes.
PCSO Jenny Charlton from Wallsend Neighbourhood Team and North Tyneside Council Waggonway Warden Ritchie Barnes.

A DRINKING den has been demolished in Wallsend.

Officers from Wallsend neighbourhood policing team discovered the substantial homemade den at the back of allotments on Wiltshire Drive in Wallsend.

Police were making checks in the area after reports that stones had been thrown at trains on the nearby East Coast Railway in September, but while out on patrol police found the den and referred the eyesore to North Tyneside Council who arranged for Waggonway Wardens to quickly dismantle it.

Pc Neil Cowen, neighbourhood beat manger for the area, said: “There was clear evidence that this den was being used to drink alcohol and smoke drugs. It was important to remove it to prevent it being used again.

The den was inside the fenced area of the East Coast mainline which meant that people using the den would have been trespassing. Potentially by being there they also put themselves at risk, and if caught trespassing, could be fined.

“Extra police patrols will continue in this area and we will monitor the situation to prevent further incidents of trespass.”

North Tyneside Mayor Linda Arkley said: “Issues like drinking dens can impact on our residents’ quality of life – these dens can cause damage to the environment, generate litter and are often a source of anti-social behaviour.”

Pc Cowen added: “These dens attract under 18s who gather there to drink and can also cause problems for the community. That is why we respond swiftly when we find these places. Youngsters who drink also make themselves vulnerable and we want to do all we can to prevent them getting hold of alcohol.”

Anyone with information about the stone throwing incident on Sunday, September 9, at 3.30pm should contact British Transport Police in confidence on 0800 405040 quoting reference 295 9/9/12.

Residents who come across drinking dens are asked to report them to police so they can also be removed by caling 101 ext 69191.